Re: SearchingDave_Raggett <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Dave_Raggett <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Searching
To: firstname.lastname@example.org (Lou Montulli)
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 93 13:04:14 GMT
Mailer: Elm [revision: 66.25]
> I agree that a forms intreface is something they all lack, and there
> have been a number of proposals to make documents into forms.
> (The main problem is, we don't have editors yet. When we do, then
> there will be plenty of work on forms.)
I too am interested in extending WWW to supports forms, perhaps based on
something like that used in Lotus NOTES. The basic idea is to define classes
of objects such as radio buttons, selection fields, input fields etc.
together with a library of predefined functions (e.g. to check a field
matches a date format) which can be used to build forms. The system is event
driven, and some behaviour is handled purely locally without recourse to the
form's server, for instance applying simple edits to input fields. Other
behaviour involves talking to the server using a simple messaging protocol.
An extreme case is represented by systems such as Hypercard (on MACs) and
Toolbook (PCs). These provide low level objects and scripting language. It
may be more appropriate to consider a higher level approach targetted more
closely at the needs for forms. A major driver for me is a room booking
system which also needs a mechanism for showing minute by minute changes to
the data without the user having to "pull" a fresh copy from the server.
I believe that WWW should be extended to support a richer variety of
documents including forms, equations, pictures and tables. This will take
time of course, but seems the right way to go. How to get there? I am
continuing to work on an HTML editor/browser (portable X11 + Xlib). There
is a lot of dull hard work to do in order to get an effective and reliable